AC writes: “I have a question about Frequency Machines or Rife Machines. I don’t know much about them but I don’t have a good feeling about them so I am wondering if you could put my mind at ease It seems that they are becoming widely used and just curious if it is tied into the New Age.”
The Rife machine isn’t so much New Age as it is sheer quackery.
For those of you who have never heard of a Rife Machine, it is based on a pseudoscience known as radionics which asserts that diseases can be diagnosed by the frequencies they emit and that by feeding the body with the proper vibrations they can be cured.
As Quackwatch reports, the idea came from a doctor named Albert Abrams (1864-1924) who created 13 different devices which he claimed could detect these diseased frequencies and then cure people by correcting them.
An FDA investigation found that some of Abram’s devices (and others that are still being produced and marketed today) produced magnetism from circuits like that of a common doorbell or taxicab transmitter.
These hokey gadgets were essentially useless but Abrams made millions off of them, which is why the American Medical Association dubbed him the “dean of gadget quacks.”
As for the Rife Machine, Royal Raymond Rife (1888-1971) was one of Abrams’ followers who claimed that cancer was caused by bacteria.
“During the 1920s, he claimed to have developed a powerful microscope that could detect living microbes by the color of auras emitted by their vibratory rates,” Quackwatch explains.
“His Rife Frequency Generator allegedly generates radio waves with precisely the same frequency, causing the offending bacteria to shatter in the same manner as a crystal glass breaks in response to the voice of an opera singer. The American Cancer Society has pointed out that although sound waves can produce vibrations that break glass, radio waves at the power level emitted a Rife generator do not have sufficient energy to destroy bacteria.”
Rife was never able to prove his ideas and was largely discredited by the medical community.
It is even more disturbing to report that people have died by relying on Rife machines instead of conventional methods.
As Quackwatch concludes, the bottom line is that “radionics devices have no value for diagnosing or treating anything.”
Send your New Age questions to firstname.lastname@example.org